Monday, January 23, 2006

Apple iMovie vs. Windows Movie Maker

Being an Apple hound for the past 20 years and all, and with the fulsome praise lavished on Apple's iLife suite, you might expect me to do likewise. Perish the thought. Over the past weekend, I was forced to learn how to create a slide presentation with audio track for a presentation at my son's school. I had to fight iMovie tooth and nail to figure out how to perform what should be a very simple task: adding a title frame. Yes, I read the help files too, the one that comes with the program and several online. There is no easy way to understand how this is done. I spent a lot of time trying to drag all kinds of elements onto my film strip. No dice. I finally figured it out, after many frustrating hours. Windows Movie Maker does this the right way. A novice would have absolutely no problem at all editing a movie or a slide show. A novice to iMovie, however, would leave frustrated. All this assumes that the user does not spend hours at a manual before embarking on this voyage -- which is how it should be. Sure, iMovie includes bling like the "famous Ken Burns" effect which makes stills move and generate the appearance of a movie. But that's just icing on the cake. The cake itself, is hard to eat.

I never thought the day would come when I would actually praise a Windows application and diss the equivalent Apple app; but it has, and how sorry I feel about it all.

I don't want to get started with iDVD yet, but there is steam to be let off on that application too.

I do agree that iPhoto is an excellent application, although Google's free-to-download Picasa does beat it in some areas.

10 comments:

Brooks B said...

Its funny the things that can be put on the back burner. I wonder if they just forgot to add this functionality and tacked it on later or just underevaluated its importance.

Either way, they likely missed the mark due to poor prototype testing. It seems that this sort of glaring difficulty would have come out in testing right away!

Of course, even Apple can be pressured by release dates and promises. Perhaps they were just rushed? Not that I like making excuses for Apple, at least its a poor excuse.

raster said...

Hmmm, I figured out titles easily when I started using iMovie. I clicked on 'Titles' and started poking around a bit, and had a title pretty easily. I've never used Windows Movie Maker, but the process seemed simple enough in iMovie.

Rashmi Bansal said...

This comment is not related to what you just wrote but the comment you left on Shravan's blog. Think you hit the nail on the head. Wondering whether you are still in corporate life, or on a different path now?

raven said...

This isnt a comment about this post. Its a comment emanating from the comment you left on shravan's blog.

Your generation took up an IIM MBA as a road to lifelong security. So does mine. Most of your generation spent their lives selling soaps and detergents. So will mine. Most of your generation realised that they wanted to do something else very late in life - the regret kicks in, of forced choices, the wasted talents, the suppressed desires. Would be true for my generation as well. However, this is the time when we are standing at another crossroads. This is the time when we'll take up the wrong road only to think about it woefully 20 years hence. Only that we've got our blogs to let out all our feelings, all our dillemas, all our wandering thoughts.

Perhaps there's a small change thats creeping into our culture. There's this sign of the times that says you'll do relatively well even in an off beat career today - the economy has evolved. And then there's this flashing billboard opposite it showing an i-banking or consulting salary. I don't know where I'll be 6 months hence, but I do know where I want to be 20 years hence.

Another small change... times have changes, so has our society. Alumni from your batches come down and tell us that the feedback of newer batches is that they are arrogant. My take is that the line between self-confidence and arrogance is thin and the metrics of measurnig that line for both our generations are different. One thing still hasnt changed. Both our generations of IIM grads are still poor listeners. We prefer to talk. Some from their experiance, others from their knowledge & confidence and several of us just out of arrogance. Whats been lost is the listening ability and that ability to connect!

Finally, Its still IIM Calcutta. The city might have changed its name, we haven't and are proud of it (some call as arrogant!!)

Cheers

raven said...

just saw rashmi too came here thru shravan's blog.... plenty of alumni activism :)

have the same question: Wondering whether you are still in corporate life, or on a different path now?

murli said...

Rashmi, Raven, I responded to your posts on Shravan's blog because that's where the conversation was happening. Just in case you don't visit that blog again, here's my response:

You're welcome, Shravan. A couple of your blog-visitors, Rashmi and Raven, left some comments for me on my blog. After pondering over where to post my response, I'm going to start here, since here is where the proper context exists. Hope that's okay with you. [Aside: blogs seem to create a whole new issue re: online communication -- in a dispersed conversation involving blogs, does one leave comments on each others' blogs or in a common blog that emerges dynamically. This is well worth researching. The 'obvious' solutions may not be the 'best'.]

The question: Wondering whether you are still in corporate life, or on a different path now?

The short version of the answer: No. Brief elaboration. I graduated in 1980 from IIMC (and I am told it is still 'C'). One year selling paints and 5 years selling computers was more than I could handle. The flight from paints ('consumer durables' or whatever) to IT ('high-technology') was deliberate -- it seemed to be a less frivolous occupation. Remember, the IBM PC was introduced only in 1981 (but before most of you were born!).

Anyway, I quit the corporate world and went off to do my Ph.D. -- in MIS. I now teach at a University in the US. Incidentally, I had the opportunity to teach one summer at IIMB, a decade ago. At least two of my former students there are profs now.

Will I continue on this path? In a broad sense, yes. Teaching is a very rewarding way to live one's life -- although certainly not financially; ask your profs! Incidentally, our batch topper at IIMC spent a few years in industry (he started off with the highest paying job for our batch) and is now a prof -- at IIMC. I may not remain a business school professor forever, though.

I know at least a couple of my classmates in industry who now wish they had taken the academic path. As you might guess, this is not a path for everyone. Check your MBTI (Myers' Briggs Type Indicator) profile. That's provided me a whole lot of insight on myself, and I get all my students to take it. I'm figuring that it is de rigueur for all IIM students to take the test. For those not familiar, here's a short version available online:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

Incidentally, my young son wants to be a mathematician. More power to him!

Best,

Murli

James' said...

Ha ha, I can't stand Apple at all... so I may have had a bias already towards iMovie, but I thought it was complicated and it's good to see that a neutral person would feel the same way. I really like Movie Maker, I have the version for Vista. You have an interesting site, I think I may add you to my blogroll.

-James'

murli said...

James, thanks for your comment. I haven't come around to hating Apple yet - it's been a long relationship, and we've had our ups and downs; not ready to give up yet - although I can't say they aren't trying hard to be hated, what with the features they deliberately left out of the iPod Touch, e.g., adding calendar appointments, and their forcing you to pay them a buck of two for ring tones that you could construct yourself.

Maybe Apple will encounter a reality check soon, with howls of protest from even Apple fanboys coming fast and furious. The world does need Apple, and I don't want them to go away yet; there's a lot out there we need to thank Apple for, not the least of which is elegant design and usability. But they are danger of losing the tremendous goodwill that they have accumulated, so I hope they wake up soon!

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